Tuesday, 9 March 2010
Correspondence on notes for Biography of Oliver Cromwell
I don't see how the profoundly Biblical Puritan English revolution can be made to fit a Marxist/materialist explanation.
You need to look at how the role of the Bible's teaching on social justice led to the revolution. Israel got its first king against God's will, so as to be like other nations. The Puritans knew that God did not sanction a monarchy.
Leviticus 25 is critical here.
At the moment your email does not warrant a long reply. What I will say is that I am not trying to fit a Marxist/Materialist viewpoint into the English Revolution. The point of Marxism is it is a method in which to understand the past, present and a guide to future action.
I do not subscribe to the view that the revolution was a chemically pure one. Marx never said it was. Also, I do not downplay the religious aspect to it, how can I. Its main protagonists were deeply imbued with it. However to say that God caused it or that he was on the side of the Roundheads is absurd. How do you explain that Charles 1 refused to accept parliaments and Cromwell’s authority because he was the sole interpreter of ‘Gods Will’?
To finish, I do not say that the role of the individual is unimportant at certain times it is critical. But the revolution was the product not of Gods will but powerful socio-economic changes that that were pulsing through Britain and come to think of it Europe at the time. Man makes history but not as freely as he would like.